CFP: The Medieval Brain

CFP – The Medieval Brain Workshop, University of York, UK, March 10th and 11th, 2017

Deadline for submissions:  October 21, 2016



Drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal of two types of Golgi-stained neurons from the cerebellum of a pigeon

As we research aspects of the medieval brain, we encounter complications generated by medieval thought and twenty-first century medicine and neurology alike. Our understanding of modern-day neurology, psychiatry, disability studies, and psychology rests on shifting sands. Not only do we struggle with medieval terminology concerning the brain, but we have to connect it with a constantly-moving target of modern understanding. Though we strive to avoid interpreting the past using presentist terms, it is difficult – or impossible – to work independently of the framework of our own modern understanding. This makes research into the medieval brain and ways of thinking both challenging and exciting. As we strive to know more about specifically medieval experiences, while simultaneously widening our understanding of the brain today, we much negotiate a great deal of complexity.

In this two-day workshop, to be held at the University of York on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March 2017 under the auspices of the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, we will explore the topic of ‘the medieval brain’ in the widest possible sense. The ultimate aim is to provide a forum for discussion, stimulating new collaborations from a multitude of voices on, and approaches to, the theme.


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Carole Rawcliffe (University of East Anglia)

Corinne Saunders (Durham University)

Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University)

This call is for papers to comprise a series of themed sessions of papers and/or roundtables that approach the subject from a range of different, or an interweaving of, disciplines. Potential topics of discussion might include, but are not restricted to:

Mental health
The history of emotions
Disability and impairment
Terminology and the brain
Ageing and thinking
Retrospective diagnosis and the Middle Ages
Interdisciplinary practice and the brain
The care of the sick
Herbals and medieval medical texts
Research that grapples with terminology, combines unconventional disciplinary approaches, and/or sparks debates around the themes is particularly welcome. We will be encouraging diversity, and welcome speakers from all backgrounds, including those from outside of traditional academia. All efforts will be made to ensure that the conference is made accessible to those who are not able to attend through live-tweeting and through this blog.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words for independent papers, or expressions of interest for roundtable topics/themed paper panels, by Friday 21st October, to Deborah Thorpe at: or visit the Workshop website at:

CFP: Shakespeare 401: What’s Next?

CFP: Shakespeare 401: What’s Next?

2017 Shakespearean Theatre Conference
University of Waterloo with the Stratford Festival: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (June 22-24, 2017)
Due: 31 January 2017


An 1870 oil painting by Ford Madox Brown depicting the play’s famous balcony scene

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers, full sessions, and workshops for the second Shakespearean Theatre Conference, to be held June 22-24, 2017. All approaches to Tudor-Stuart drama and its afterlives are welcome. In the wake of the Shakespeare quatercentenary, we especially encourage papers that think broadly and creatively about the future of this drama. How can old plays best speak to the diversity of contemporary identities? What new critical and creative directions seem particularly promising? Which established practices remained indispensable? What — or who — is due for a revival?

Plenary speakers:
Sarah Beckwith (Duke University)
Martha Henry (Stratford Festival)
Peter Holland (University of Notre Dame)
Julia Reinhard Lupton (University of California, Irvine)

The conference is a joint venture of the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Festival, and will bring together scholars and practitioners to talk about how performance influences scholarship and vice versa. Paper sessions will be held at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford campus, with plays and special events hosted by the Stratford Festival. The 2017 season at Stratford will include productions ofTwelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, The Changeling, Tartuffe, The School for Scandal, and The Bakkhai.

By January 31, 2017, please send proposals to


CFP: The Craft (Beer) of Medievalism:

 Popular Culture, the Middle Ages, and Contemporary Brewing (ICMS Kalamazoo 2017)

Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2016

CFP 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11–14, 2017), Kalamazoo: The Craft (Beer) of Medievalism: Popular Culture, the Middle Ages, and Contemporary Brewing (A Roundtable)


According to the Brewers Association, an industry advocacy group, American craft brewing is a rapidly growing $22.3 billion market. As a visit to any store specializing in small-scale beer will affirm, medieval imagery and ideas are frequently invoked in the marketing and conceptions of such beer. This roundtable will explore the multi-faceted intersection of medievalism and the craft beer movement. Short papers may focus on claims to authenticity, heritage, and craftsmanship; the links among craft beer, medievalism, and specific discourses of national or ethnic identity; the use of medieval imagery in labeling and package design; the invocation of the Middle Ages in advertising and special events like beer festivals; or the place of historical recreation and reenactment in craft brewing. We expect panelists will approach the topic through the broad frame of medievalism in popular culture, as explored in recent works like David Matthew’s Medievalism: A Critical History and Louise D’Arcens Comic Medievalism: Laughing at the Middle Ages. By taking up the topic of craft beer, this roundtable specifically seeks to situate medievalism in a discourse of consumption that falls somewhere between passive spectatorship and more active modes of historical reenactment, and thus to make a new contribution to the study of medievalism in contemporary culture. Questions, queries, and 200-word abstracts to Megan Cook at by September 15.


CFP: Othello’s Island 2017, Nicosia Cypress

Call for Papers
Othello’s Island 2017

Othello and Desdemona by Alexandre-Marie Colin, 1829

The 5th annual multidisciplinary conference on medieval, renaissance and early modern studies and their later legacies

Venue: Centre for Visual Arts and Research (CVAR)

Nicosia, Cyprus, 6 to 8 April 2017

with optional historic-site visits on 9 April

Acollaborative event organised by academics from CVAR, Northern Arizona University, Sheffield Hallam University, SOAS University of London the University of Kent and the University of LeedsCFR

The deadline for submissions of proposals is 1 January 2017. Early submission is strongly advised.

CFP: Illuminating Metalwork in St. Louis

Representations of Precious-Metal Objects in Medieval Manuscript Illumination.
43rd Annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, Vatican Film Library, Saint Louis University, St. Louis MO, 14–15 October 2016
Due: May 1, 2016


Manuscript illuminations frequently place special emphasis on precious-metal objects both sacred and secular, such as chalices, reliquaries, crosses, tableware, and figural sculptures. Artists typically rendered these objects using gold, silver, and metal alloys, “medium-specific” materials that contrasted dynamically with the surrounding color pigments. The visual characteristics of these depicted metal objects — lustrous yet flat, almost anti-representational — could dazzle, but perhaps also disorient, the viewer: they catch the eye while creating a fertile tension between the representation of an image and the presentation of a precious stuff, between the pictorial and the material. A gold-leaf chalice signals its real-world referent both iconically, via its shape, and indexically, via its metal material, a doubled representation unavailable to the remainder of the painted miniature. Such images can take on added complexity if intended to represent known real-world objects.

This panel seeks to take inventory of how these precious-metal objects were depicted and how they generated meaning. Possible themes include: chronological/geographical specificities in the representation of metalwork in manuscript illuminations; depictions of precious-metal figural sculpture, including idols; technique (e.g. pigment vs. leaf); the semiotics of metal on parchment; and whether we can speak of “portraits” of particular objects and/or visual “inventories” of particular collections. We welcome proposals that consider Western, Byzantine, and/or Islamic manuscript illumination from the early through the late Middle Ages.

Please send (1) an abstract of no more than one page and (2) a c.v. with current contact information by Sunday, May 1, 2016 to both panel organizers: Joseph Salvatore Ackley ( and Shannon L. Wearing ( Selected papers are to be twenty minutes in length.


Poetry at the Post: Holy Dust and Liquids

Requiem Shark

I want
another look at the terrible
eye with its nictitating membrane,
those extravagant fins,
the ampullae of Lorenzini freckling its snout,

Virgin and Child (left wing of Diptych of Philip de Croÿ with The Virgin and Child), oil on panel, circa 1460, Huntington Library, San Marino. ((Public domain)

Re//Generate conference – A Call for papers

The University of St Andrews School of Art History in collaboration with the St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies (SAIMS) present Re/generate: Materiality and the Afterlives of Things in the Middle Ages, 500-1500, an interdisciplinary conference on reuse and recycling in medieval Europe taking place on 6-7th May 2016.

In recent years, the discipline of Art History has been grappling with the concept of materiality, the very thingness of art. The material of medieval art, be it parchment, precious metal, gem, bone or stone, has emerged as a spearheading topic. Unsurprisingly, this “material turn” has prompted intriguing questions. To what extent does an ivory figure of the Virgin and Child embody the divine, rather than merely represent it? What exactly did pilgrims do with the holy dust or liquid which they carried away from saints’ shrines in little ampullae? It is within this context that we wish to explore how recycling was part of the medieval (re)creative process.

This conference will investigate the different ways in which medieval people used and reused goods, materials, and other elements from existing forms to create (or recreate) new art and architecture. Why did medieval people preserve, conserve, and recycle art and materials from a different era? Did such appropriation go beyond mere economic practicality? Could the very materiality of an object have been the reason for its retention or reinvention? The two-day conference is aimed at postgraduates and early career academics from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to history, art history, museum studies, archaeology, book studies and literature.

We invite twenty-minute papers on the following range of topics and their relationship to the study of materiality, recycling and reuse in middle ages:

Second-hand materiality of medieval art and/or everyday objects;
The concept of refuse/garbage and its reuse;
The medieval and post-medieval afterlives of things;
Theoretical approaches to medieval materiality; Thing theory and Stuff theory;
Semiotics and anthropology of medieval recycling and recreation;
Issues of authorship, circulation and ownership of recycled art;
Genealogy of recycled materials: spoils, heirlooms, relics, ruins and remnants;
Conservation, preservation and restoration in medieval thought and practice.

Papers on other issues related to the study of materiality and reuse of materials in the Middle Ages or of medieval materials in post-medieval practice are also welcome. Please direct your submissions (250 word abstract) along with a short biography (100 word) to no later than 1st of February 2016.

Poetry at the Post: Mediated Phenomena and a Grapefruit Too!

Meditation on a Grapefruit
To wake when all is possible
before the agitations of the day
have gripped you


Call for Papers
The Virginia Graduate Colloquium in Theology, Ethics, and Culture

University of Virginia, May 6-8, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Talal Asad

The 2016 Virginia Graduate Colloquium invites creative submissions by graduate students on the conference theme: “Religion and Media.” We are honored to present as our keynote speaker renowned anthropologist Professor Talal Asad, whose transformative work on the genealogical mediations of religious and “secular” traditions has deeply influenced the study and practice of religion today.

Religion is often described as a “mediated” phenomenon, whether ritually, doctrinally, aesthetically, communally, politically, narratively, and/or violently. Potential topics could include: material histories of the Gutenberg press, oral epic traditions, Qur’anic calligraphy, televangelism, propaganda posters and wartime radio broadcasts, Mormon architecture, illuminated medieval manuscripts, and iconoclastic controversies. What, for example, is the significance of an online presence for religious authorities, like the Dalai Lama via Twitter? What is the function of “scientia media,” or middle knowledge, regarding divine omniscience in analytic philosophy? How is Christ depicted as “the Mediator” by Christian theologians? How is God both immediately and transcendently One within the Islamic intellectual tradition? What is the interpretation of Jehovah-rapha and covenantal remediation before and after the Holocaust? In short, the conference will initiate a dialogue about “media,” construed not only as a “mode of transmission” but also as a process of (re-)/mediation and repair, to open new lines of investigation for theological and religious studies.

We welcome a broad range of submissions including, but certainly not limited to:

Technology and Society

Race/Gender/Queer Studies

Scriptural Hermeneutics

Biomedical Ethics

American Religious History

Political & Material Cultures

Aesthetics & Literature

Digital Humanities/Media Theory

Philosophy of Religion

Religious Ethics

Interfaith/Inter-tradition Dialogue

Theology/Lived Theology

For more information, click here. 

Poetry at the Post: Texts and Transformations in Stellenbosch, South Africa

12 weeks 4 days sonar

…distressed I sit

and look at the eland the mountain and the sky so nothing
do I remember of the de-nothinged from which I come

“Stellenbosch WC ZA” by No machine readable author provided. Anicetolopez~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Call for Papers
Southern Africa Society of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference
26 – 28th August, 2016
We are pleased to announce that the 23rd biennial conference of SASMARS will be held at Mont Fleur in Stellenbosch, South Africa on 26 – 28th August 2016.
“Texts and Transformations: Medieval and Early Modern Cultures”
Medieval and Early Modern societies weathered various socio-cultural transformations, ranging from economic developments to religious conflicts, across a range of different geographies and in urban and rural spaces. How did poetry, theatre, prose, visual art, architecture, and other forms of art respond to such changes? How do we historically understand and assess various kinds of social transitions?
Topics for this conference can include but are not limited to:
• Adaptions of classical texts and artworks
• Translation of texts and ideas
• Contemporary readings of old texts
• Cross-cultural interactions and influences
• Historical transitions and periodisation
• Religious reform
• Urban renewal and development
• Medieval and Early Modern studies in contemporary education
• Appropriations of Medieval and Early Modern culture
• Cultural responses to economic change
• Representations of political dissent and rebellion
• Utopias and dystopias
• Gender, sexuality, and social change

“Bletterman House (corner view)” by HelenOnline – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

Deadline: A conference proposal and a short biography to by 30 November 2015. Any inquires can be directed to the same email address.

Poetry at the Post: Medieval Natures at Sewanee

‌Treating of the nature of places, which derive from the habituation of the place to the heavens, first we will make mention of what was determined in the Physics. For there it was proved that place is an active principle of generation, just like a father (De natura loci, 1, 9-13). (Albertus Magnus)


Call for Papers

The Forty-Second Annual Sewanee Medieval Colloquium: Medieval Natures
April 1-2, 2016
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN
This colloquium will explore the varied concepts of nature in the medieval period. Papers might, for instance, approach nature as a philosophical category, an object of mimesis, an archive for scientific investigation, or consider nature through eco-criticism, race and ethnicity, animal studies, or the history of science. Papers are encouraged from all fields, and possible topics could include allegories of nature in literature or sculpture, theological arguments over the nature of divinity, alchemy, the history of agriculture, medieval perceptions of the natural world, depictions of animals, or astronomy. We welcome papers considering medieval European, Asian, and African, and cross-cultural perspectives.

We invite 20-minute papers from all disciplines on any aspect of medieval nature. We also welcome proposals for 3-paper sessions on particular topics related to the theme. Proposals for panel topics and threads are due August 31, 2015; they should be submitted directly to Please submit an abstract (approx. 250 words) and brief c.v., using our abstract submission form if possible, no later than October 30, 2015. Commentary is traditionally provided for each paper presented; completed papers, including notes, will be due no later than March 1, 2016. Unfortunately, we cannot accept proposals from undergraduates; generally, all of our participants either hold a terminal degree, or are in the process of obtaining one.

We are also pleased to announce the Susan J. Ridyard Prize ($500), to be awarded to a paper that is especially exceptional in its response to the year’s theme. Prize papers are nominated by respondents. The R.W. Southern Prize ($250) will be awarded for the best paper by a graduate student or recent PhD recipient (degree awarded since July 2013). If you would like to be considered for the R.W. Southern Prize, please indicate so in your abstract.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Matthew W. Irvin
Director, Sewanee Medieval Colloquium